Crime & Justice

Justice Department to review San Francisco Police Department following Mario Woods shooting

On Dec. 2, Mario Woods was shot and killed by San Francisco Police officers. Videos posted to social media appear to show that shots were fired prior to Woods raising his arm.
On Dec. 2, Mario Woods was shot and killed by San Francisco Police officers. Videos posted to social media appear to show that shots were fired prior to Woods raising his arm.
KQED News (via YouTube)

The Department of Justice announced Monday that it will review the San Francisco Police Department. The decision comes two months after officers fatally shot Mario Woods, a black man, in an incident captured on video.

Last week, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee asked for a federal probe into the death.

Member station KQED reported that police were "responding to a stabbing report in the city's Bayview neighborhood on Dec. 2 when they encountered and surrounded the 26-year-old Woods. Five officers shot and killed him after he appeared to raise an 8-inch knife and approach an officer, according to police."

Video footage, however, appears contradicts the police account, KQED reported.

Police say less lethal manners of subduing Woods, like bean bag shots and pepper spray, had failed.

The DOJ promised an "independent and comprehensive review" by its Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, in what is considered a more collaborative approach than using the department's Civil Rights Unit, which has issued scathing reviews of police departments in Ferguson, Mo., and several other cities.

"The Department of Justice is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of law enforcement throughout the United States, and this Collaborative Reform Initiative is a vital component of that effort," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement.

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